The seminar at Panipat last Sunday debated on the issue whether Vocational Service is an abandoned avenue? Not exactly, but Yes. Confused? In so far as the vocational service as an avenue of service is concerned the Clubs are doing their bit to undertake projects that range from career seminars to industry visits and vocational awards. That was demonstrated in the presentation by Rtn Dr. S.N. Gupta of Panipat Midtown. To that extent yes, we can say, that it is functional.
But Vocational Service is much more than that. It touches the very core of our professional and business conduct; our personal value system; and the way we live our lives. It touches our daily conduct in dealing with people and situations. Whether we are walking the talk, or just talking, or paying lip service?
The public image of Rotary is dependent upon the public and private conduct of each individual Rotarian, and how ethical one is in one's life.
PDG Shaju Peter vehemently pointed out the growing rot in our society today, and how Rotary's image in India was getting a beating because of internal strife, mismanagement of The Rotary Foundation's grants money, financial bunglings, to name just a few.
He said that there is no better time than now to conduct a self-audit under the principles of the Four Way Test. This is the time, he emphasised, to go through the Rotary's Declaration.
Shaju quoted Past Rotary International President Raja Saboo's speech at the last International Assembly which was received with thunderous applause on the subject, where he asked that every Rotarian should just ask oneself, as to what one would do if the news is to appear in the major newspaper on the front page? Whether one would go ahead with an action, if one's children have to follow suit? And whether one would be able to face one's mother and tell her about those actions?
Rotary, he said, is a singular voluntary body in the world that upholds professional and business ethics as supreme value for every Rotarian.
The former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh and Member of Parliament, Shri Shanta Kumar, was equally vehement in condemning the degrading moral values in our country. He lamented the fact that once India was known as the seat of spiritual and moral learnings, but the recent survey by Transparency International has rated India as one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
It is a sad commentary on India, which was once known as the 'golden sparrow', is one of the countries in the world where maximum number of poor, diseased, and illiterate people live.
The rot has set in from the top and even the judiciary has also come into the grips of greed and corruption, he said. There is sheer madness everywhere to acquire wealth in whatever means one can, and there is no repentance anywhere, he remarked.
He asked the Rotarians to be the role models in the society, and do not compromise with honesty, and intellectuals like Rotarians should come forward to raise their voice against the corrupt who are in any case in miniority, urged Shri Shanta Kumar.
He adviced the younger generation to do our best truthfully, honestly, and should not accept any wrong, injustice or corrupt practice.
This was an exceptionally useful and invaluable seminar that provided food for thought for everyone who cared to listen and participate in the programme. It may be a difficult task but not unsurmountable, because the battle for this will not start anywhere outside...it is from within that we shall have to make a beginning to bring about the change. We have to be the change that we want to see in the world.